3 Acres in Detroit - Transforming Abandoned Properties into Urban Farms

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Facing a brutal Detroit winter, a willful urban farmer sets out to transform an abandoned house into a greenhouse.

Synopsis by Aeon video

Decades of industrial decline and urban flight have made Detroit the poster child for the deterioration of cities in the United States’ Rust Belt. Between 1950 and 2010, the city’s population fell 60 per cent from 1.8 million to roughly 714,000. But among the thousands of abandoned homes and decaying neighbourhoods, two novice farmers, Donnie and Fred, have been trying to bring about a different kind of revival than one might expect in the capital of US auto-making – agriculture. The French director Nora Mandray’s short documentary 3 Acres in Detroit follows the hardworking duo as they attempt to transform an abandoned home on a three-acre plot into a small farm and greenhouse, finding seeds of hope in the troubled city’s urban blight and overgrowth.

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